Vested Interests: the Place of Spanish in Australian Academia


  • Alfredo Martínez-Expósito



Spanish in Australia, Teaching of Spanish, Discipline of Spanish


The history of Spanish departments in Australian universities can be traced back to the 1960s, when a number of British hispanistas relocated to Australia and created a small number of successful teaching programs that reproduced the British model. A second generation of Spanish scholars arrived in the 1980s and 1990s, mainly from Latin American countries, in a migration wave that is still current. The transition from a British understanding of the Spanish discipline, with a strong focus on (canonical) literary studies, to current curricula that emphasise communicative skills and a loose notion of cultural studies, is symptomatic of deeper changes in the way the discipline has sought to reposition itself in the context of the Modern Languages debate.